Kwartengs Mini Budget Declares Class War Upon The Poorest

The poor side of life

The news of todays mini budget and the latest increase in interest rates has left me feeling rather anxious for the well-being of the lesser well off, disabled and elderly.

Introduction

Household budgets for the poorest are already stretched to the point of breaking by the ever increasing cost of living and as usual the poorest are paying the highest cost as a result.

Please note, I’m not just writing about working people as most journalists reporting on this appear to be doing. I’m including everyone that is unable to work for whatever reason that may be albeit disability or commitments and so on.

Everyone matters not just the few.

Bank of England increases interest rates.

Today the Bank of England has increased UK base rates by 0.5% points from 1.75% to 2.25% making it the highest that it’s been since 2008. The effect of this will be felt…

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Universal Credit Sanctions At A Record High

The poor side of life

As to be expected the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) has taken full advantage of their new ‘way to work’ campaign and the return to normal service after lockdowns during the pandemic.

It is estimated that nearly 110,000 people claiming Universal Credit were sanctioned in May. This figure has more than doubled in six months . It’s also important to remember that this is despite the cost of living crisis whilst people are struggling more financially than they ever have done in recent times.

Sanction levels were however rising steadily through autumn and winter, but increased dramatically after the DWPs Way to Work was implemented was in February. Compared to 74,746 people that had been sanctioned in January rising to 93,479 March compared to 106,710 in April.

The governments ‘Way To Work’ programme forces every claimant eligible to apply for every job available rather than jobs suited to them…

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Keep the focus on Forde!

rebel notes

At a demonstration earlier this year, by chance, I bumped into a former Labour MP and activist, unafraid to speak out about Palestine, whom I hadn’t seen for ages, and we had a lively chat. She told me about her neighbour’s deep frustration about the endless delays regarding the publication of the Forde Report. Her neighbour was Martin Forde.

Just a few weeks ago, I was reflecting that all those social media posts I had written since late 2020 that ended: “Forde Report now!” might as well have said “Waiting for Godot”. But this chat certainly lifted my low expectations about it, if it did appear.

Whatever pointed criticisms Forde might draft, I still anticipated they would be watered down enough so that Starmer, and his closest New Labour advisers’, might have to acknowledge it.

Partly, that is what we got. Its pervasive framing is a party at war with…

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PIP And WCA Assessment Tricks Exposed Again

The poor side of life

As many of you will already know the dirty tricks used by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) during Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Work Capability Assessments (WCA) have been a matter of conversation since they were first implemented.

Campaigners have also been campaigning against these assessments for years highlighting the way that they are conducted and the dirty tricks that the DWP use during these assessments.

Great concern about how these assessments are conducted was recently spoken about during a meeting with the Work and Pensions committee at Parliament.
Minister for disabled people Chloe Smith agreed to ‘urgently investigate’ the alleged dirty tricks used by PIP and WCA assessors during these assessments.

There are many examples that are used during the assessments including and exceeds:

Assessors dropping pens or items on the floor and asking claimants to pick them up knowing that they would struggle to do so.

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Coffey Refuses To Disclose Nine Secret DWP Reports.

The poor side of life

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey has once again remained silent about nine Department of Work and Pension (DWP) reports during a grilling by the Work and Pensions Committee..

Not only did she remain silent she added another report that she failed to disclose along with the previous nine.

This is despite the Work and Pensions Committee requesting that the information in the reports should have been posted as far back as 2017.

The reports contain information concerning DWP sanctions, claimant deaths and how people are coping with being transferred to Universal Credit (UC)

The committee did however state that they would like to discuss the matter further at another meeting on Wednesday 29 June.

They however made the huge error of giving Coffey until the 15 July to reply to their request.

Instead of answering the committee’s questions Coffey refused to do so in person saying that she would…

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Whilst The Queen Celebrates Jubilee Record level Of Universal Credit Sanctions Published

The poor side of life

A record level number of Universal Credit (UC) sanctions has recently been published by the Department of Work and Pensions on the 22nd May 2022.

It is reported by the DWP that the amount of UC sanctions had reached a record high in January 2022 this is according to statistics released by the DWP in May.

This follows the restrictions during the the pandemic when the DWP had been pressurised to remove work search and availability requirements for UC claimants also suspending face-to-face interviews due to the health risks involved. Work search and availability requirements were reintroduced gradually and are now fully implemented.

According to the latest figures released by the DWP UC sanctions prior to the pandemic consisted of 2.51% of UC claimants being sanctioned. In February 2022 sanction levels had risen dramatically to 3.90%.

According to the report in January 2022 there were reported 38,200 adverse sanction decisions…

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DWP To Start Planned Legacy Claimants Migration To Universal Credit

The poor side of life

With much celebration yesterday evening the DWP announced that their plans to start migrating people from all legacy benefits to Universal Credit (UC) with a commencement date being May 9th. Their target completion date being December 2024. This will leave approximately 900,000 of households worse off whilst claiming UC.

Not only will thousands of claimants previously claiming legacy benefits be hit with lower payments they’re set to also face a benefit freeze leaving them in a much worse financial situation they are already in. They will also be faced with the distress of being forced to accept this whilst struggling financially to cover the basics.

The DWP claim that legacy claimants will be sent a ‘migration notice’ with a three-month deadline to make a claim for UC. If they don’t accept the migration notice or don’t receive it as is often the case with letters from the DWP their benefits…

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Reaching the Tipping Point

rebel notes

I left the Labour Party today. I have cancelled my direct debit to a Party that since April 2020 has been waging a full scale war, not on the most dangerous right-wing government I have lived under, but on its own members. A Party founded by trade unionists and dedicated socialists is embarrassed now by its union links and is a hostile environment for socialists. Latest estimates say 200,000 members have left under Labour’s “new management”.

That should be adjusted to 200,001.

Shadow Cabinet member Rachel Reeves openly rejoices that so many have left, slandering us all as “antisemites”. The same Rachel Reeves who gushingly declared her admiration for the Tory, Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in Britain’s parliament, while ignoring Astor’s fanatical support of Hitler and the fervent hope she expressed that he would solve “the world problem” of “Jews and communism.” Small wonder that Labour MP…

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Tories plan to strip holiday pay, workers’ rights, employer pension contributions after Brexit

Pride's Purge

raab brexit workers rights.png

Why is Theresa May’s former-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and other top Tories – so hell-bent on a hard Brexit?

In 2011, Raab said in a policy paper for the rabidly right-wing think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies that holiday pay, the minimum wage, maternity leave and pension contributions for British workers are all ‘strait jackets’ for British businesses and should all be scrapped.

All of which are currently guaranteed under EU regulations.

Coincidence?

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Here’s a copy of Raab’s shocking policy paper if anyone wants to read it:

Click to access 111114155257-escapingthestraitjacket.pdf

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Group JobCentre Sessions Leave Jobseekers Feeling Abandoned

Same Difference

Here is the link for those who can’t see the Facebook embed above.

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